This past year has been an interesting year for everything and the 42nd Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC) was no exception. OEC 2021 was unique in more ways than on: for the first time in history OEC was held entirely online and had an inter-school organizing committee. Unlike other OEC's in
the past, where the organizing committee had more than a year to plan the competition, our exec team only had five months, starting at the end of September 2020. This year, our goal for OEC was to have a fun and entertaining event, especially since social outlets are extremely limited due to COVID-19. Our team was assembled of dedicated and passionate students from all over Ontario, with the Chairs from McMaster and Western university. Our team met weekly and worked very closely coordinating competitions, logistics, sponsorship etc. We were determined to continue the annual event for its 42nd year to encourage engineering students to become actively involved and become leaders in innovation. The first task that needed to be tackled by our team was sponsors. VP Sponsorships reached out to all of OEC's recurring (Hatch, Geotab, OSPE, OPG and BBA) and new sponsors. Without these companies supporting OEC, the event would not be possible. The marketing team developed a unique design for the competition representing the at-home nature of the competition with no specific school highlighted. The most challenging task was creating all eight competitions in the short timespan and hosting them online. Our VP Competitions hired directors at the beginning of November and only had two months to plan and create a competition package for each competition for an online format. But they achieved the impossible and had all eight competitions run online and successfully with Junior and Senior design competitions still getting some hands-on experience from shipped materials. Hosting an OEC online involved us using many different platforms. Our team created a Discord server for communication, a website for general information, used Zoom for some presentations, and used Hopin
for the ceremonies and networking events. What helped with adapting to the virtual world was having the new position of VP Technical who oversaw all our online communication platforms. Despite the tight deadlines, OEC ran very smoothly due to months of meticulous planning and collaboration. Even though online is not the same as being in-person, we believe that we provided an atmosphere at OEC 2021 that is the closest to an in-person event while still staying safe. Overall, students developed great unique solutions to their competitions and winners of each competition
represented Ontario at the National level at CEC! Special thanks to all our volunteers who supported our team during the weekend. To all our judges spending their weekend supporting students in their creative solutions. To all our sponsors who
supported us even during uncertain times. The OEC Advisory Board, for their continuous support during the whole planning and execution. And to our organizing committee who spent 5 busy months to bring the best online OEC to engineering students!
OEC 2021 Co-Chairs
Aya Aboughanem and Kyle Lacroix